Jesus said, “I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law,” (Matt 10:35). Following Jesus means putting Jesus supreme in one’s life. A Christian is not to love their family or friends more than they love Jesus, and anyone who does, “Is not worthy of me.” (37-38). Jesus emphasized this point by stating it 3 times.
Discipleship to Jesus is a very high calling, for in Jesus’ day even the most esteemed rabbi would not have taught such a thing. If the statement causes you to bristle, then I ask you to look at it this way: The teaching is an implicit declaration of Jesus deity, because only God deserves higher place of honor than one’s family.
Is there precedent for this in the Old Testament? Yes! In Deut 33:9 Moses spoke to the priestly tribe of Levi and said, “He said of his father and mother, I have no regard for them. He did not recognize his brothers or acknowledge his own children, but he watched over your word and guarded your covenant.” This sounds harsh too. But again I ask you to look at it this way: Giving God His rightful place in one’s life enables a person to correctly honor their responsibilities to their wife, sons, daughters, parents, and friends. By loving God more, a person actually loves their family and friends more.
A Higher Calling,